CVLT Nation Sessions: Black Sabbath Vol.4


The online publication CVLT Nation has released an impressive string of whole album covers featuring metal and punk bands from around the world.  In addition to Black Sabbath, you can check out album tributes to Black Flag, Misfits, Bathory and more.  The Vol 4 sessions boast some of the best current doom bands making music today including Potion, Mindkult and Yidhra.  

Oakland band Yarrow slows down and stretches out Tomorrow’s Dream to a dreadful crawl and manages to sneak in a taste of the first Black Sabbath album during a short segue. Reinterpretations abound all over the album highlighted by Bongripper’s 14 minute(!) rendition of the desolate studio exploration FX. CHRCH feels right at home amping up the terror on Cornucopia whose opening riff surely had a hand in conceiving all of the bands on this comp. Amazing renditions of absolutely classic songs.

Void King – There Is Nothing


Heaven’s Gate may have hitched a ride on the Hale-Bopp comet that passed our rock 20 years ago, fortunately we have Indiana’s Void King to fill us in on the details of the event.  Released in 2016, the band’s first full length album is a heavy slab of rock that mixes big riffs with a dash of groove and speeds hammer down through eight big tracks.

Crushing riffs buttressed by thick bass and pounding drums, Void King has crafted the sonic foundation required to support Jason Kindred’s mighty bellow.  Many of the riffs and rhythms on There Is Nothing recall early albums by New England knuckle draggers Scissorfight which is a compliment in the highest regard as far as we are concerned.  Glenn Danzig’s bluesy howl is typically mentioned whenever I read about Void King, but I really don’t think that is an accurate comparison.  Kindred’s verbal dexterity is on par with the mighty Neil Fallon, while his top end exceeds that of many current metal front men.

Tempos change quickly from the rubber burning Brandy Knew to the slow-build of That Was Not An Owl.  The band also puts on a ferocious live show that needs to be witnessed whenever they are close to your town.  According to recent social media posts and a single released last year, the band appears to be working on some new material.  Hopefully we will be able to hear something new before Hale-Bopp comes back.

Akula – Akula


Akula as a going concern is a relative newcomer to the scene having only existed for less than a year, but this beast is constructed from veterans of the Columbus, Ohio metal community.  Chris Thompson and Jeff Martin from Lo-Pan handle guitar and vocals, Sergei Parfenov from Ves/Nightsoil is also on guitar, while Scott Hyatt from Bridesmaid fame brings the bass and Ronnie Miller from Artillery Breath mans the drum kit.  Based on the collective metal resume brought to this band, there should be no question that it will slay.  Spoiler alert; it slays.

A Pound Of Flesh kicks off the album and sets the tone for the rest of the album by packing a truck load of riffs into the first song.  Flesh begins with an ascending tone that allows Martin’s vocals to climb and climb until it hits a brick wall of riffage and drum fills about a minute into the piece.  From there the track shifts tempo a couple times before ending with around 90 seconds of instrumental dynamics before finally coming back down to earth.  Born Of Fire is another stand out track that showcases the band as a true sum of its parts.  A nice mid-tempo base is laid down by the band that sets up Martin’s vocals to shine once again.  Hyatt and Miller bring huge sounding bass and drums to drive the song into its final descent.